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Allergy to Vicks VapoRub?

Q. Have you ever heard of anyone being allergic to Vicks VapoRub? A few days ago I had some congestion, and instead of taking a decongestant I decided to try rubbing a small amount of Vicks on my chest before going to bed.  The next morning the area where I had rubbed the Vicks was red and warm to the touch and very itchy. Over the next two days, it went from itching to burning and the area showed little bumps.

A. We wouldn’t be at all surprised that you could be allergic to ingredients in Vicks. People can be allergic to almost anything, from prescription drugs to herbs. From now on, we suggest you stay away from Vicks VapoRub and its ingredients (camphor, eucalyptus oil, menthol, cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol and turpentine oil).

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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